Submit an Article to ArcUser Magazine

ArcUser features lively and timely articles that help Esri software users work more productively. Many of these articles are written by users and Esri business partners. Before writing an article for ArcUser magazine, please read and follow these guidelines.

To be considered for publication, article must comply with these guidelines and MUST be submitted through the ArcUser Online website. To do this, you must read and agree to the copyright policy. After clicking the button at the bottom of the copyright page to agree to the copyright policy, fill out the form and upload the text of the article. Do not e-mail articles directly to the editor.

All articles received by the deadline date for a specific issue will be reviewed by the ArcUser Editorial Committee and considered for that issue or possibly a later issue. No decisions regarding possible inclusion in the magazine are made before the article submission deadline.

Article Submission Deadlines

Issue Deadline
Winter 2015 November 12, 2014
Spring 2015 January 26, 2015
Summer 2015 April 6, 2015
Fall 2015 August 3, 2015
Winter 2016 November 2, 2015
New article submisison deadlines

ArcUser and ArcNews

Esri has two distinctly different GIS publications with different purposes. ArcNews provides news of Esri, its products, services, users, and business partners and has been continuously published longer than any other GIS periodical. Refer to the ArcNews Article Submission Guidelines.

ArcUser provides specific technical information for existing users of Esri software. Articles written for ArcNews will not work in ArcUser and vice versa. Simultaneous submissions are strongly discouraged and pointless since the same article will not run in both publications.

Article Formats

ArcUser is a magazine, not a journal. ArcUser stories, while often dealing with technical topics, should be written in a lively and accessible style. Articles are written in English, in the third person, and with an international audience in mind. They should be 500 to 2,000 words in length-articles that are substantially longer than 2,000 words will be returned.

The magazine is designed to be very visual. Please send illustrations such as screen captures, maps, photographs, diagrams, charts, or tables that help tell the story. Specific information on illustrations is included in the Graphics Guidelines section.

Send article text in the following formats:

  • Microsoft Word for Windows or Mac
  • Rich Text Format (RTF)
  • ASCII (text only)

Do not send articles in Adobe PDF format or as scanned images. No matter which word processing program you use, do not use any fancy formatting, styles, or spacing.

Article Topics

ArcUser magazine focuses on users. ArcUser seeks three types of articles—feature articles, tutorials, and articles describing the integration of GIS with other technologies. Do not submit product announcements or advertisements or press releases disguised as articles.


Feature stories describe how real people and organizations have used Esri products and services and/or those of Esri business partners to solve problems, improve processes, realize cost savings, or perform tasks that would not be possible in the absence of GIS. When writing a feature article please mention specific data sources, whether government or commercial, and, as appropriate, answer some of the following questions:

  • What hardware was used?
  • How was GIS integrated with other technologies in the organization?
  • How long did the project take to complete?
  • How long has it been in use?
  • What aspects of the project were the most successful or unique?
  • What is the future of the project or application?


Tutorials describe how to accomplish a GIS-related task such as modeling a dataset or providing tips that make readers more productive when doing common tasks. For articles that describe a process or involve a script or program you have written, please specify what the reader will need to perform the process or use the script or program—what software, software version, and hardware configuration including the amount of drive space needed for data files.

With scripts and programs, please comment your code so readers can follow the logic more easily. All scripts and programs are run before publication. Thoroughly test your code before submitting it. Identify the type of dataset your program or script should be used with. If at all possible, refer to a generally available sample dataset such as the sample data that comes with Esri products or free data sources such as the data available from the U.S. Geological Survey or from spatial data clearinghouses. If you plan to submit a tutorial that uses data owned by a third party, ArcUser must receive written permission for usage from the owner of the data before your article can be considered for publication.


Technology articles explain emerging technologies related to GIS or show how existing technologies can be integrated with GIS in new ways. Identify the audience for the piece in terms of interest and expertise. Tell readers if your article assumes that they have knowledge of specific subjects such as a particular programming language. Direct them to sources of additional information on topics that may be new or unfamiliar to many readers. These resources can be books, articles, or Web sites, but they should be readily available.

Checklist for All Articles

  • Include your full name as it should appear in the byline along with your title and/or affiliation.
  • Do not quote yourself in the article.
  • Provide brief biographies for all authors that list education and/or GIS-related work and interests.
  • At the end of the article, please include the sentence, "For more information, contact" followed by the names, titles, affiliations, and contact information for one or more of the authors. Please see a copy of ArcUser for examples.
  • Send a list of the illustrations that will accompany the article and include a brief caption for each illustration.

Graphic Guidelines

Articles need artwork. If you have photographs (print or slide) or printed maps, please send them with the article so they can be professionally scanned to ensure the best reproduction. Upon request, prints, slides, and maps can be returned after the issue is published. Make sure that photographs taken with digital cameras have been captured at a large size and saved with as little compression as possible.

Clearly label any accompanying diagrams or charts and Esri's graphics department will create illustrations that complement the magazine's design.

Send original digital screen shots or images. Do not send images that have been saved from Microsoft applications such as PowerPoint, Word, or Excel. These images contain formatting that makes them unsuitable for use in the magazine. DO NOT SEND .GIF images. Send graphics in that have been saved in TIF, BMP, EPS or JPG, (at low compression with highest quality). EPS files must be saved in CMYK mode.

For screen captures from ArcGIS Desktop, exporting maps as TIFF files with a resolution of 300 ppi produces the best results. A guide for making simple screen shots [PDF] and exporting maps from ArcGIS is available.

After submitting article text through the ArcUser Online Web site, send the accompanying graphics to the editor by e-mail, mail, overnight courier, or by posting them to the Esri FTP site ( and e-mailing or calling the editor with the file or folder name.

Graphics sent via e-mail can become corrupted. Zipping files using a utility, such as WinZip, seems to improve the chances that your images will survive the trip. Graphics not posted to the FTP site or e-mailed are accepted on CD-ROM or ZIP (100 MB or 250 MB) diskette. Please do not upload files larger than 9.5 MB using the article submission form.

Please provide a caption for each image that clearly describes how the image relates to the article. Attach captions to hard copies of the appropriate graphics, list captions at the end of the article, or send caption information in an e-mail. Use the file name for digital images to relate the caption to the image. Send correspondence and graphics to:

Monica Pratt, ArcUser Editor
380 New York Street
Redlands, CA 92373-8100
Tel.: 909-793-2853, ext. 1-1712

Thank you for your interest in ArcUser magazine. We look forward to reading your article.

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